Dr. Diane Brain Health | Water Therapy | Dr. Diane Brain Health

Water Therapy


What is Water Therapy?

Water is a great healer and the ideal medium for rehabilitation, conditioning, training. Water therapy refers to treatments and exercises performed while submersed in water.  The hydrostatic (passive) and hydrodynamic (active) properties of water provide an optimal environment for safe and effective therapy and conditioning. With little or no weight bearing in the water, the injured or deconditioned clients are able to return to desired activities quickly and safely.

What is the Burdenko Method?

Among many forms of water therapy (also known as aquatic therapy), a standout is the Burdenko method, developed by Igor Burdenko, who is known worldwide and is the founder and chairman of the Burdenko Water and Sports Therapy Institute. He has worked as a rehabilitation and training consultant to numerous athletes from professional and Olympic teams, as well as top international dancers and figure skaters. Dr. Burdenko is also on the board of directors of the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation.

How We Uniquely Use Water Therapy and the Burdenko Method in Our Office

Dr. Diane emphasizes how significant of an impact water therapy can have on patients who have suffered a concussion and are seeking treatment for their symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Symptoms of PCS that we treat with water therapy include chronic pain, Post Traumatic Pain (PTP), and muscular and motor problems. These muscular and motor problems include problems with muscle coordination, loss of muscle strength, loss of muscle tone, posture problems, and muscle injuries (whiplash, myofascial dysfunction, fibromyalgia, and temporomandibular disorders).

Water Therapy as Rehabilitation

Dr. Diane herself recommends water therapy as one of the various methods of rehabilitation for patients living with the symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome.
Not all individuals who sustain a concussion require rehabilitation. It may be that outpatient treatment of symptoms is enough to bring about marked improvement and enable you to return to work and other everyday activities within a reasonable period of time. On the other hand, you may find that your job performance and daily living skills are so greatly affected by PCS that changes in your daily routine are necessary. Or you may be so consumed by the after effects of your injury that that your life lacks fulfillment. You may suffer from chronic pain, debilitating fatigue, or have specific impairments that are just not improving.
In any of these is the case, then finding a rehabilitation program can be a great way for you to regain your life. However, just as each with concussion and the case of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS), rehabilitation programs for people with PCS vary. To schedule an in person, phone, or Skype consult with Dr. Diane to see if the water therapy rehabilitation program is right for you, call (800)500-9971 or fill out a consult form.

Four years after my accident, I tried the Burdenko method of water therapy. The developer of this method is Igor Burdenko, Ph.D. The therapy is based in the water and on land and emphasizes balance, coordination, flexibility, endurance, speed, and strength. Burdenko therapy did for me what four years of weights, Nautilus training, swimming, aquatherapy, medication, and alternative treatments had not been able to do: it enabled me to negotiate stairs without pain, kneel without falling, walk without staggering, and begin to rebuild lost muscle tone. In fact, a few months of the Burdenko method put me back on my bicycle for the first time since my accident.” – D.R.S.

This excerpt was taken from Dr. Diane’s newest book, Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. To purchase this book or for more information, please visit the book page here.

What to Expect During a Water Therapy Session

Treatment for water therapy begins with an evaluation to determine the best course of action while in the water. A qualified aquatic therapist gives their full focus and attention to the patient in the heated therapy pool. During a session, patients complete their therapy by performing exercises while floating, being partially submerged in the water, and being fully submerged in the water. Treatment may be either passive (involving a hand-on therapist) or active (performing body positions, movements, or exercises on one’s own). Techniques used in water therapy include but are not limited to aquatic exercise, physical therapy, aquatic bodywork, and hydrokinesiotherapy.

What Makes Water Therapy an Ideal Treatment?

According to Dr. Igor Burdenko,

“Water is a unique environment in which the effects of gravity are minimized and effects of buoyancy take over. This allows individuals to use the water to assist, support, or resist their movements at a pace they can tolerate. The environment allows for non weight-bearing and partial weight-bearing exercise.”

This excerpt was taken from Dr. Igor Burdenko’s book , The Burdenko Method: Restore & Maintain Health With The Fitness Wisdom System of Water & Land Therapy. To purchase this book or for more information, please visit the book page here.

Other Conditions that Water Therapy Can Benefit

Water therapy can benefit a multitude of conditions and symptoms, including:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Joint replacement surgery
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Joint reconstruction surgery
  • Scoliosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lower back pain
  • Tendinitis
  • Bursitis
  • Idiopathic joint pain
  • Balance disorders
  • Stroke
  • Head Injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sprains and strains

Water therapy and, specifically, the Burdenko method, can help you regain your life, especially after a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries, such as a concussion in particular, can leave you struggling with the symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS) for weeks, months, even years after the accident. Do not suffer, seek help. Remember, there is help and hope. There is a Way!® 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and would like to consult with Dr. Igor Burdenko, a member of our integrative team, please call (800)500-9971 or fill out a consult form.